Students take over at Yorkshire school


A year 8 student at a West Yorkshire school faced a daunting task when she took charge of her school on the Children's Commissioner's Takeover Day recently.

A year 8 student at a West Yorkshire school faced a daunting task when she took charge of her school on the Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Day recently.

Takeover Day is an annual event that gives youngsters across the country the chance to swap their classrooms for offices, hospitals, museums and even the House of Commons. They work alongside adults, offer their opinions on key issues and shadow a wide range of jobs.

Well-known names who threw open their offices this year included shadow chancellor Ed Balls, Edward Timpson and Elizabeth Truss at the Department for Education, Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Simon Byrne and the BBC’s Blue Peter team.

Emma Richardson was one of three pupils at Boston Spa School, near Wetherby, who shared the role of headteacher for the day. 

Emma’s first task was to run the usual Friday morning staff meeting in place of headteacher Christopher Walsh. She did so well that the 120 teaching staff gave her a round of applause at the end.

A total of 113 students at the 1,200-pupil school took over the jobs of teachers, receptionists, maintenance staff, technicians and catering staff.

“This is the third year we have done it and it really reinforces the relationship between the students and the school,” said Jane Green, business partnership co-ordinator at Boston Spa School.

“They get a much better understanding of how the school works. One student taught a music lesson and he said that it made him appreciate the amount of preparation that goes into a lesson and the importance of achieving learning outcomes.”

Meanwhile Maggie Atkinson, Children’s Commissioner for England, said: “Takeover Day provides a brilliant opportunity for children and young people to make a difference to their schools and communities, put their views across and challenge the stereotypes about them that we hear too often. 

“Children and young people have so much to offer. They bring ideas, imagination and energy, which can really make a difference to organisations.”

For more information on Takeover Day, visit

CAPTION: She’s the boss! Emma Richardson shared the role of head during the recent Takeover Day at Boston Spa School


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